Monday, December 15, 2008

Soveriegn Lake Sprints

Gregg, far left in Quarter Final

My race prep and the qualifying all went smoothly. I finished the time trial and felt pretty good. The course was fast and short and I didn't really feel like I left it all out there. A bit disappointed, I did my normal cool down and started to prepare for the heats.

Results came out and I qualified 31st just missing the heats. I was not happy. I knew I didn't go hard enough earlier. The results were a little funky, Kevin Hochtl who is a fast qualifier and sprinter won by 7 seconds. Rumors were flying around the the results were off. After about 20 minutes I went back and checked the board again, I had actually dropped to 34th. Disappointed I decided to go back to the hostel and rest up for Sunday's Skate 15km.

Kristina (qualified 32nd) and I hitchhiked back to the hostel. When we got back to the hotel we got online to check the results to confirm nothing odd happened which would move us into the heats. The start list was the only thing online. I ate a sandwich then took a nice long shower. Walking back to my room in my towel I saw Kuz (fell in qualifier and just missed top 30) walking quickly toward me and instantly knew that leaving the venue was a mistake.

I threw on my windbriefs and ran out to the waiting van. Thankfully we have some good snow tires on the van because the trailer was swinging us a bit from side to side. I turned the heat on for a 'warm-up.' With the van still rolling I hoped out into the parking lot and sprinted for the start line.

Running towards our Toko wax bench I could see the men out on the course and realized I hadn't made it. Fish told me he had my skis, bib and poles. Confused, it took me a while to realize that I wasn't in the first heat. I put on the bib and checked my poles. They were both mine, but one was 157cm and the other 160cm. Oh well. I grabbed the skis and ran to the line. Putting my skis on I realized that they were Fish's test skis. Fast, but pretty soft for me. Kuz ran up with my matching set of poles and said he would go get my skis. Halfway through the pre-race commands, Kuz came and helped me switch skis. Racers to the line...Bang.

I started conservatively and moved up through the field on the first downhill. I was in 4th going into the final turn, I wanted to be further up. I made the bad decision to take the corner wide and didn't move up at all. I lost a bit of time in the final stretch and finished 5th in my heat. 25th for the day.

I consider that a success given the circumstances. Thanks to Kuzzy and Fish for helping me make my start. Unfortunately Kristina also moved into the top 30 (they took out some juniors in both the men's and women's race). Kuz didn't know this when he came and got me and she didn't make her start.

Not a very smooth day. The team was hungry to make up for it in Sunday's Skate Race.

Results at

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